The months dragged by. The two were being contained like animals. Matt went through the cruel testing with conditions becoming worse by the day. He hadn't eaten since he was in the hospital and his clothes were completely destroyed by the first day. Firo was in a dark and rather dungeon like prison. He hadn't seen sunlight since he was captured and was fed mainly old bread and protein paste. His clothes were in tatters and he had rags rapped around various bloody looking wounds on his body. Matt and Firo steadily awaited the day their imprisonment came to an end. And then it came...
Computer: Level 1000. Gravity: 100,000 Gs. Temperature: 1,500,000 degrees. Oxygen content: 0%. Opposition: Singularities
The atmosphere within the enormous white room ripped and cracked as any and all traces of a livable environment disappeared. Matt was leaning against a wall, sleeping with his arms folded. Suddenly, his now long and unkempt hair started to pull down as if being wet in the rain. As the gravity increased further, Matt slowly slid down the wall and hit the floor with a heavy crash. He slowly stood up and started to yawn but when he heard no sound from the lack of oxygen, he silently mouthed the words, "Aw, hell." The floor panels opened up as usual and a number of large antennae emerged. The atmosphere started to flux and twist even more until it looked like the air itself was twisting open revealing absolute darkness. 20 black holes spawned all around the room. The antennae themselves were violently ripped from the floor and pulled in. Matt stood in the same spot, looking partly puzzled but mostly tired. The black holes started to expand slowly, taking up more and more space and nearing Matt. He was still unmoved until one of the holes was about to touch him. His eyes started to glow bright blue for a moment. Without any sign of movement, he was gone from that spot an on the other side of the room. The black holes stopped growing and simultaneously closed up shortly after. There was a moment of stillness and then large puffs of air flowed into the room. The gravity decreased and the temperature returned to normal.
Computer: All testing levels complete. Would you like to begin the cycle again?
The same voice as before came over the intercom.
???: No. We have obtained all the data we require.
Matt: Alright. I held up my end of the deal. So fork over that prick, NOW!
???: Of course. Please, allow us to provide you with a shower and new clothes and then we will escort you to your friend.
One of the walls opened up to reveal that the room was a large box, suspended in air over a seemingly bottomless, metal tunnel.
A bridge from a far off landing extended to the box. Matt slowly walked over it and into a series of hallways of what looked like another research facility. He was lead to a locker room with a shower and a rack full of all styles of clothing. After cleaning off and picking out a new wardrobe, Matt finally made his way up several levels of the facility and out of the building and walked out into the open air. The entire facility was tucked away in the mountains.
While extremely surprised, he couldn't help but miss the sky and took his first deep breath of fresh air in a long time.
Matt got in a vehicle similar to the one that captured Firo and he. It drove down a road for a short distance, then took off into the sky.
Prisoner #1: I hear someone is coming here.
Prisoner #2: Do you think they're gonna let some of us go.
Prisoner #1: I don know man. It's been a while since anybody got out. But if they do come, they'll probably want the boss.
Firo: I told you morons... don't call me that... I want nothing to do with you scum.
Prisoner #1: Ahhh! We're sorry bo... I mean sir. Hehe.
Firo silently stalked away down a dark corridor.
After about an hour, the vehicle came to an ancient abandoned castle on a lonely island. It landed in a clearing near the front gate and Matt got out. There was a path leading down below the structure. It seemed like someone had built a modern structure under the old architecture. Matt got out of the vehicle and stared down the dark passage.
He couldn't hear anything for a moment. Then, there was a loud buzz and the sound of a heavy gate opening and closing. A string breeze cam out of the tunnel and then silence again. Then slow footsteps could be heard coming. It seemed to go on forever until finally, a single figure emerged from the corridor and stepped into the light. He was covered in the remains of tattered and torn clothing and several dirty rags tied around blood stains. He also had a large one covering his lower face like a winter scarf. Firo paused for a second at seeing Matt and then continued to walk toward him. Matt didn't know what to say for a moment. He could barely recognize the person standing in front of him. There was an empty look in his eyes that he'd never seen before. However, he pulled himself together and scrounged up a smile.
Matt: Hey bro! Long time no see right? The hell happened to you in there man?
Firo: ... Matt...
Matt: Well, I didn't have it so easy either ya know. But I knew we were both too badass to get done in by some crap like this. Fosho!
Matt held out his fist for a brofist. Firo looked at it for a second but then walked over to the vehicle and got in. Matt stood there for a second and then followed. Matt got in, shut the door, and they took off. About an hour later, they landed back in the city on the Federation landing strip. Matt and Firo got out with countless military personnel surrounding the vehicle.
Matt: The hells this?
General: Gentlemen. Congratulations. You two are the first people in this city's history to top the country's most wanted list in one day. Let's give em a hand people. Come on!
Matt: Crap. I knew I forgot something...
General: For the crimes of disobeying orders, desertion, terrorism with experimental technology, reckless endangerment, and mass destruction of government property.
Matt: Terrorism with... do you mean the generator? Firo was trying to save those researchers that YOU abandoned. If this is anyone's crime, it yours! And, WAIT A SECOND! We didn't desert either. The bastards that own this hunkajunk we just flew in sprung us and took us God-knows-where for the last few months! They used me like a friggin lab rat and...
General: That's enough nonsense from you. We're taking you in.
Matt: Like f**k you are. You do know I fist fought an arsenal right?
General: I know exactly what your capable of. That's why I have about 10 jumbo military satellites pointed at your dome right now.
Matt: What the...!!!
General: Take them!!!
As Matt was about to move, a beam of golden light shot down from the sky and nailed Matt square on the back.
Matt: Damn! Why couldn't I dodge that? I did stuff like this a million times by now.
One after another the beams hit Matt in the back until he was completely pinned down on the ground. A few soldiers were also approaching Firo with their guns drawn.
Matt: No. Never again!
Matt pushed as hard as he could and managed to raise onto his hands and knees. The intensity of the beams increased and the ground started to crack. However, Matt continued pushing harder and harder and his eyes started glowing again.
He reached up and managed to somehow grab one of the beams and rip it off of him. The others intensified again but Matt ripped another one off. However, as he tore them off, the satellites replaced them. He finally managed to stand up and grabbed all the beams at once with both hands.
With one motion he ripped the beams down as hard as he could. A few moments later, 10 satellites came falling from the sky as one large meteor and crashed into the nearby bay followed by an explosion that could be seen by the whole city.
Water from the explosion fell like rain and everyone had stopped for a moment. Matt was breathing heavily, his eyes still glowing. Firo's dead face was filled with amazement in that moment.
General: RRRRGH! Dammit! This bastard kid! At least grab the other one. But don't use deadly force. We need him...
Soldier: But sir...
General: DO IT!!!
The soldier was about to hit Firo with his gun but without looking, Firo grabbed the butt of the gun and crushed it in his hand. His eyes changed to a murderous glare at the soldiers. In fear the others pointed at Firo and were about to shoot but in a second, he had closed the distance between them. They tried to shoot but he quickly evaded their aim and knocked them all out one after the other. The one who's gun he broke was the only one left. The soldier looked at him in fear and tried to run away but Firo caught him immediately. Firo grabbed the soldier by his face and lifted him off the ground with one arm. The man squirmed around to no avail as Firo's dark stare met his eyes.
Firo: I'll slaughter all of you swine!
Firo grinned for a moment and then motioned like he was going to slam the man down.
Matt: Firo!! That's enough. We won.
Firo paused mid motion. He looked at Matt and then at the terrified man. He sighed and his eyes went back to their prior, empty state.
Matt: Let's go.
They both walked over to the vehicle and Matt got in the pilot seat. Before Firo got in, he stopped and looked at the General again.
Firo: I advise you not to pursue us. If our paths cross again, I will rip you apart. Later... father.
He reached inside pocket and pulled out the gem covered pocket watch. He looked at it for a second and then tossed it to the ground. He got in and the two took off. The general watched them fly away. After they were out of sight. He then slowly walked over to the watch and picked it up.
General: I have failed you. I am truly sorry my son...
Inside the plane, the two were silent. Matt was about to say something, but then he decided not to.
They flew to a small town a few miles to the south west, got rid of the plane, and stayed low for a while. The town was being extorted by local thugs for quite a while. Matt quickly sprung into action and drove them out with his abilities even though he was still learning to control them. One person among the town was especially thankful to Matt.
Matt: No, it was nothing. Really!
Troy Palmer: It was definitely something. I just felt so helpless in this situation for so long. I have to thank you somehow.
Matt: I'm serious you... well, you wouldn't happen to have access to any labs around here would you?
Troy took the two to a laboratory in the next town over and had them examined.
Troy: There appears to be a strange sort of energy in your body. I've never seen anything like this before.
Matt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But is there anyway I can, kind of, direct it?
Troy: Do you mean a conduit of some kind?
Matt: Yeah, something that can pull out just enough energy for me to use like I want.
Troy: Use? What do you plan to use this stuff for?
Matt: Listen, can you get one or not?
Troy: ... I'll see if I can get my town and this one to cooperate and get you such device.
Matt: And what about Firo?
Troy: Hmm, he seems pretty normal. Why?
Over the next couple months, the towns cooperated to develop a glove and chest pad system to regulate energy flow as thanks to Matt. After receiving it, Matt and Firo took off.
Firo: So... what are you going to do now?
Matt: I'm gonna have to find out who the hell was behind that crap for the last couple months. But, with this much power. I feel like I could do something ... more.
Firo: You want to fly around and be a superhero.
Matt: NO! I just, I just feel like I might as well do what I can when I can, ya know?
Firo: Riiight. Well then, I guess this is where we'll have to split.
Matt: Huh? Why?
Firo: This might be what you choose, but I have my own road to go down now.
Matt: Dude! We came through all this crap together. How can you just say...
Firo: Trust me. It's better this way. I'll see you again soon.
The two parted ways from there. Matt kept traveling from place to place, mainly keeping a low profile while the military satellites were down. He also had Troy keep upgrading his gear from time to time until it became a full, black body suit.
Firo took jobs in the underworld in order to make quick money. When the Federation finally did track him down, they only invited him to come back to the capital to talk. Safety guaranteed. Firo refused at first but when they said he would find out the real purpose behind the events at the research facility, he agreed.
Firo was escorted into a large conference room with a middle aged man sitting at the long table as well as the General standing up beside him.
Firo: I'm here. So talk.
The middle aged man got up and walked over to Firo.
???: Hello. My name is Harold Credo. You are Firo I take it?
Credo extended his hand for a handshake but Firo didn't respond.
Firo: I said talk.
Credo: I see. Then I will. So to start with, I am the head director of the Federation. And I suppose you could say that every ordeal that you have face so far was my personal doing. I had the generator set to meltdown with those in the chamber. I also had you and your friend detained for these past few months. I also used your life as a bargaining chip to force your father to bring you in. I do apologize to both of you.
Firo: Hmph, is that right? So please, do tell me why you should live past the next 60 seconds.
Credo: Well, to put it simply, because I can complete you. You see, the reason that I endangered those workers was because I needed to use them as test subjects for the radiation. You can imagine how difficult it is to find volunteers for experimental radiation treatment.
Firo: Either way, you did a crappy job. That explosion would have destroyed those people, much less leave any results behind.
Credo: Oh, I'm aware. However, the purpose of that phase was not to yield a complete product. No, that doesn't come until the end. I only wanted to see how much of that energy could come in contact with the human body before it tears it apart. But you see, you and your friend's actions were a most welcome interference. I was able to know exactly how much exposure was needed for live bonding. It even raised that boy from the grave. So you should be able to see why I simply could not resist studying you two further.
Firo: Study me? I was trapped in a hole for the last few months.
Credo: And you had to fight for your life every single day, didn't you?
Credo: This gave me a good gauge of exactly what you had become. But to be truthful, I doubt those other prisoners would have been able to kill you unless you let them. Not with your training and intellect. And also...
The General looked at the floor.
Credo: You must have noticed that your physical abilities were extraordinary. You were changed as well.
Firo: But not like Matt was.
Credo: Yes, it seems like he somehow got more exposure than you. Your level of energy is hardly even detectable by normal means. But you are still an interesting subject none the less. So back to my proposal. I'd like to complete you, like your friend.
Credo: I have an experimental treatment that should yield a similar effect to your previous incident. But you should know that it will alter you in nearly every way.
General: Wait just a moment! You said my son would come back to me safely!
Credo: He's standing before you alive, isn't he?
General: That's enough! I won't let you use him anymore. I'm ending this...
Firo: I'll do it.
They both looked at Firo.
General: Firo. Why?
Firo: I've been using this power to survive for so long. I want to see it's limits.
General: I won't allow this! I'll, I'll...
Credo: This no longer has anything to do with you general.
The General reached for his gun but Firo stood in front of Credo. The General pointed his gun at the two. Firo started walking toward his father who did nothing.
General: How can you support this madness?
Firo: This is my choice. No one else's.
Placed one hand on the general's chest and paused.
He pushed the general who flew several yards and landed heavily on the floor.
Credo: Arrest this man.
After he said this, numerous soldiers filed into the room, picked up the unconscious general, and dragged him away.
Shortly after, Firo was taken to a chamber with a large, lantern like, machine in the middle.
He walked into the chamber and it sealed up behind him. The machine lit up with a golden light. Firo looked at it for a second and then at Credo who stood outside.
Credo: I warn you one final time. This process could alter you in nearly every way. It could rend your body... twist your mind... After this, you will truly live in hell. You must have unending willpower to survive this. And even if you do, the person that walks away from this may not be you...
Firo: ... DO IT!!!
Credo signaled with his hand and the machine bursted with even brighter light. Firo was thrown back against the glass as if by a strong wind. He made his way to his feet again for a moment but fell to the ground, writhing. The machine ran for almost a half hour and then shut off. Firo lay on the floor motionless and barely breathing. He was put on a stretcher by people in haz-mat suits and wheeled out to an operating room. He was placed on a bed and a large machine with a large lamp on it was placed over his body. There were no people in the room. Credo entered and stood over Firo.
Credo: You have gone past the point of no return. This will also be the most difficult stage. We are about to seal the energy inside of your body. Please, try to stay alive.
Firo: I *pant* WON'T die... *pant*
Credo walked out. The lamp above Firo lit up a purple color. It shut off, and then came on again over and over. Each time it came on, the intensity increased. It burned Firo's skin with each flash. His veins started showing through his skin. Firo was writhing in pain again. The light kept flashing. Soon Firo was bleeding heavily. His body was spurting blood from various places. His old wounds opened wide and he screamed loudly. This continued for around an hour.
When Credo walked back in, he found Firo's charred body on the table with steam coming out of his open mouth.
Credo: I warned him...
Credo turned to walk away but Firo's hand jutted out and grabbed his arm tightly.
Firo: ... I... said... I... wouldn't ... die...
Back in the city crime was higher than ever and the Federation was hard pressed to fight them with only 2 satellites remaining for surveillance and communication. A robbery was taking place and the criminals were fleeing the police. They were about to take to the skies when there was a dark blur and the driver was gone. The accomplices looked around and spotted someone standing outside holding the driver by his collar. The person wore a black body suit with a glowing chest plate and gloves. One of the criminals scurried into the driver's seat and tried to take off before noticing the engine was outside on the ground too.
Matt: And I think that about wraps this up. Hm, and this gear is pretty boss so far. Well, I'm outta here. I'm, actually on the run from the cops as much as you losers are. But, I have to get to the bottom of all this crap...
As he said that, he felt a breeze on his left side.
Firo: Well haven't you become quite a do-gooder.
Matt quickly turned and saw no one. The criminal was also gone from his hand. He looked around and spotted someone standing on top of a nearby building. The criminal was lying at his feet.
Matt: Firo? Firo!
Firo: Matt... I told you I'd see you soon....
Matt: How did you...
Firo: Become like you? The details aren't important.
Matt: So, what are you going to do now? You gonna help me find out what the hell really happened?
Firo: HAHAHA!! Crap like that isn't important anymore. The only thing that matters .... is power. For example, I can use this power to make sure this filth's hand's never steal again.
Firo slammed his foot on the criminal's chest. The man woke up dazed and started squirming. Firo reached down and grabbed him by the wrist and started to pull. The criminal began to feverishly cry out in pain. Firo kept pulling until the arm was completely ripped off. Blood sprayed everywhere and splattered Firo's face. The accomplices started to panic and scrambled out of the car. Matt was dumbstruck.
Matt: Wh... WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?!?!
The criminal was rolling around, squealing in pain. Firo tossed the bloody arm aside and kicked the man over the edge of the building. Matt dashed over and caught him before he hit the ground. The man convulsed for a few seconds before bleeding out and dying.
Matt: Why did you do that... WHYYY?!?!
Firo: HAHAHA! What's the matter bro? Is there a problem with getting rid of vermin?
Matt: You shouldn't have...
Firo: What? Shouldn't have what? Killed this little crap? Ha! And I thought I was the naive one.
Matt: What... what happened to you Firo?
Firo: Hmhm, you would be surprised at the parts of yourself you discover... when your forced to kill over 30 people with your bare hands.
Matt: ... you...
Firo: Yes, if it wasn't for this attitude I developed, I would have died in that hole a long time ago. But look at what how it turned out. The rest of my time in there was actually a breeze when the fools were finally too afraid to try and fight me anymore. Power can change any situation.
Matt: It's not right...
Firo: OH! So you would have preferred I lay down and die? That I let those animals devour me? That I let you go through that hell for nothing?
Firo: Hmph! Exact...
Matt: Your full of crap...
Matt: I said... your full of CRAP!!! It doesn't sound like you were powerful to me... it ... sounds like you were afraid!
Firo glared at Matt with great intensity.
Firo: I wish I could have avoided this... but it looks like I'll have to show you what true power is.
Firo disappeared from the building and appeared closer to Matt on the street. The two looked at each other harshly. There was silence. Then they both disappeared from their spots and reappeared grappling with each other. The ground beneath them was cracking with each passing second. They both split up again and disappeared. Across the surrounding city blocks, blurs and flashes of the two could be seen as they clashed with one another again and again. They stopped and were grappling once again. Suddenly Matt's eyes started to glow bright blue again and he started to overtake Firo. However, Firo's eyes started to glow violet with small charges of electricity.
Matt: What the...
Firo pushed back and drove himself and Matt into a nearby building.
Matt: Firo... we have to stop this. There are still people in the area. They could get hurt!
Firo pushed even harder and drove Matt through the wall and 3 more buildings behind it. People scrambled in fear as the two struggled. Firo was getting the upper hand when he suddenly started to cough uncontrollably. Matt took the opportunity to grab him and jumped to an empty garden just outside of the city, the one where they first met. When he landed, Matt slammed Firo into the ground and made a small crater. Firo rolled over onto his front and raised himself up, coughing up large amounts of blood.
Matt: Firo... stop this... please...
Firo finally stood up and looked at Matt for a moment. He had a sad look in his eyes. Matt took a step toward him but Firo extended his hand and let out an enormous wave of energy.
When the smoke cleared, Matt was standing in a field of ashes. Firo was gone. Matt looked up at the sky.
Matt: Firo... I will bring you back... one day...